Mar 25, 2014

Posted by in Bikes

Five Things About Round One

Five Things About Round One

Firstly, welcome to new readers of which I suspect there are a few after my BT MotoGP rant yesterday.  Thanks for all the comments here and on Twitter both the pleasant and not so pleasant.

So, after each round I’m going to be writing about five things from that round.  They won’t necessarily be the top things, the best things, the most exciting things or anything like that.  They’ll purely be the five things that stuck in my head about said round.  And they’ll be five things about that round at the time I wrote them and then didn’t really proofread the article in question.  I might change my mind a day or two later.  Feel free to tell me you think I’ve got it wrong, or right, or just exchange recipes if you like, in the comments.

So, round one, Qatar, here we go.

jack-miller-moto3-2014-red-bull1) Jack Miller

Miller flew under the radar for a lot of people last year but the results he got on what was a dog of a Honda were very impressive.  I can recall a couple of years back when some Australian MotoGP fans (and friends) of mine said that when Casey Stoner retired ‘we were fucked’.  I mentioned a kid I’d seen doing good things in some of the European series and it’s fantastic to see Miller break through for his first win.  First wins are always a bit special and Miller celebrated his the way you want to see a kid go off after a maiden win.  Hanging of the side, massive wheelies, the lot.  And then the hint of a tear on the podium.  Miller has a bit of the old school about him.  He’s got the balls to the wall attitude of a Gardner, the antics of a Schwantz or Mamola but the level head of a mature racer like Lawson.  This kid’s the real deal and he’s gonna be a Hell of a lot of fun to watch for a whole raft of reasons this year.

2) The Rules

There have been points in the last month where MotoGP has resembled Calvinball.  Factory bikes, Open bikes, Factory 2, air filters, soft tyres, fuel limits, training wheels, changing the scoring system to Roman numerals.  It’s all been nearly impossible to follow as the rules change every five seconds. In one way it’s a necessary evil as Dorna try to get back to a one class system that’s also cost effective.  On the other hand it’s a nightmare for casual, or even hardcore, fans to keep up with.  There needs to be one class in MotoGP.  And while bringing the top open bike into parc ferme, as they did with CRT last year, is good for sponsors, it’s bad for the sport in my mind. Especially this year when the open bikes are hardly as off the pace as CRT wise.  Privateers never got special treatment when they existed in the old days.  Cees Doorakkers or Michael Rudroff would never have got to come into parc ferme (if they had one back then) as a pat on the back for only getting lapped once instead of twice.  At the very least we need the illusion of one class.

But, at the end of the day, for all the rule changes, the cream always rises to the top.  All the talk of unfair advantages for Ducati and how Aleix Espargaro could take over with soft tyres counted for nothing when Marquez, Rossi and Pedrosa were the three on the podium.  Sure, Aleix had a good ride to fourth but you take my point. But remember the rules of Calvinball clearly state that rules can’t be used twice so Christ knows what happens with Suzuki next year.

moto2_sandrocortese_29133) Sandro Cortese is Hardcore

After a crash on Saturday Cortese fractured his heel and generally made a right mess of the rest of his foot as well.  To a normal person this means going home, getting out a box set of The Wire, complaining and demanding more ice cream and not the cheap stuff, Ben and Jerry’s, with cookie chunks, because my foot really fucking hurts and no I can’t come into work tomorrow or the next day leave me alone it hurts and life’s not fair where’s my Mum. But to a MotoGP, or Moto2 in this case, rider it means maybe missing tomorrow’s race and being back for the next round.  But Sandro decided he’d qualified on the front row so he’d race on Sunday.  Why not?  He somehow passed a medical and then rode in the race and finished seventh.  Seventh.  I mean really.  Mental.  Nothing but respect for the effort and bewilderment for his state of mind.

4) My Thesaurus Needs New Pages

Ok, sure, Cortese buggered up his foot but Marquez broke his whole leg good and proper about a month ago. And whilst if I tried to put in a good lap time on a Moto2 bike my family would soon be divvying up my book collection, it’s hardly in the same league as a factory Honda MotoGP bike when it comes to speed and required muscle.  But Marquez won.  He hobbled about all weekend then got on the bike and won.  And he didn’t just win, he beat up Valentino Rossi in a hard as you like overtaking dual to do it.  The only problem with this is I ran out of adjectives for Marquez writing about him last year so this season I’ve come up with a new one.  It’s called Marquen.  Basically it’s used to describe anything Marquez does that makes you go, ‘Really?  Really!?  I mean, come on, that’s not, he, but, I…”

5) A New Era of MotoGP in the UK.

MotoGP landed on BT Sport this past weekend with wall to wall coverage of everything and anything (except warm up, yes, I know) that took place in Qatar.  I wrote about that at length (a lot of length) yesterday.  Read that here if you want.

So that’s Qatar done and dusted.  Literally.  Little sand joke there.  Sorry.  Never mind.  I’m really quite hungry.

Marquez and Cortese pic courtesy and © to Honda Pro Images

Jack Miller pic © Toni Börner/Red Bull Motorsports

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